Hughes succeeds Robert O. Hale, who left the paper Aug. 14 to take a position as a financial consultant for Edward Jones. Hughes will serve as publisher until a permanent replacement is found.
The 65-year-old Hughes has worked in newspapers for 42 years. He previously served as publisher of the St. Augustine (Fla.) Record from 1994 to 2006. Prior to that, Hughes was publisher of the Peninsula Clarion of Kenai, Ak. from 1990 to 1994.
"Ronnie Hughes is an outstanding newspaper executive," Jim Currow, executive vice president of newspapers for the Morris Publishing Group, said in a statement. "I am delighted to be able to entice him out of early retirement and to lead the fine group of executives at the Empire until we have named a new publisher." Morris Publishing Group is the parent company of the Empire, Record, and Peninsula Clarion.
An Oklahoma native, Hughes has also been a sports reporter and city editor for the Titusville (Fla.) Star-Advocate, a reporter for Florida Today. In 1967, he and his wife Martha purchased a weekly newspaper in Crescent City, Fla., which they sold to the Florida Times-Union in 1974. Hughes continued to manage the weekly until 1990.
By: E&P Staff Ronnie Hughes has been named interim publisher of the Juneau (Alaska) Empire.